View Full Version : Through Mira to the Moon: Efforts and Aggravations

11th May 2014, 07:34 PM
Storyline coming soon

11th May 2014, 10:27 PM
Spring, and Bertha scrunched a little deeper into the morass of nettle leaves and cone thistles. The steady fog from Themityquinn’s Seal of Returns spell was chilly yet. Mira’s sun was always shining, but that didn't change the temperature. Valley of Magic was still in the first stages of warming from winter.

Themityquinn herself noticed the clinging cold, but it didn't bother her. A druidess, she recognized the weather as part of the natural order. She wasn't fond of this particular type of weather, but shrugged it off and ignored it since there was nothing else she could do with it anyway. What she could do was inspect her crop field, and she was engaged in that. Growing nicely, she noted, all spells in place, watered properly with deluge, and promising a predictable harvest. Less predictable was the mushroom supply, but that didn't bother her either. Themity had already filled her pouch for the day and more would come on the morrow.

Meggie was less tranquil within her soul; Themityquinn’s pacific attitude, however profound even if it tended to be fleeting, was neither contagious nor subject to osmosis. Meggie was anything but tranquil. “Bertha?” she queried softly - or as softly as a magpie could query. “Bertha, you awake?” She wanted to hop down from the pine branch and rap gently on the back of Bertha’s head, but even her birdbrain retained the memory of those results. That chunky, indolent badger had instantly become a spinning dervish with flashing claws and snapping teeth. Nope, Meggie was not repeating that scene. No, no, no. “Hey… ummm…hey, Bertha?”

“Got my breakfast, Meggie?” the lumpy shape in the nettles wanted to know. “Blue mushrooms and wild grapes to start off the day?”

“No mushrooms,” Meggie reported. “Themityquinn is still out there. No mushrooms and no grapes yet. But listen, there’s a whole--”

“Oh,” Berta sighed with a deep disappointment she didn't feel at all. “Well…okay then. Wake me up when you have them.” She snuggled a little farther into the thistles and contemplated breakfast.

“Bertha get up!” Meggie squawked. “Get up, get up, get up We’ve got people!”

Bertha, snout buried in fragrant nettles, opened her eyes and blinked twice, rolling the magpie’s agitation over for consideration. “Meggie, we've always had people.”

“No, Bertha not like this!, No, no, no, not like this! They are just …just everywhere!”

Everywhere. That put a different filter on the situation. Bertha slowly pushed herself up by shoving with her front legs and pulling with her back legs, and managed to get herself to a sitting position before shuffling around and peering out from under the rock wall overhang. “ Everywhere” needed to be investigated. “Everywhere” could be a problem.

Outside, things looked normal.

“Where, Meggie? Where is this ‘Everywhere’ that people are?

“The valley, Bertha! The whole valley! It’s got new people and new towns and new wizards and new sorcerers, and new—"

“New people?” Berta demanded, “People aren't just changing villages - these are whole new people?”

“Yep, yep, yep, whole new people! Never-been-here-before people! People with little houses and little store rooms and tiny labs and really small circles – new people, Bertha. New ones!”

New people. Everywhere, new people. New people and new towns… As much as was possible, slow grin passed across Bertha’s face. New towns meant new mushrooms. Blue mushrooms. Lots of blue mushrooms.

Themityquinn noticed the quiet rustle of leaves as Bertha levered herself up. There were very few things in the Valley of Magic that Themityquinn didn't notice. With a small smirk of self -satisfaction she peered into her mushroom bag again as she moved to check on her circle’s upgrade. The bag was still full. And most of the mushrooms that filled it were blue.

* * * * * * * * * *

Wispy white clouds spun spider webs across the perpetual azure. Sunlight streamed on the landscape, ricocheted off waterways, dodged around shadows. Bertha saw none of it. Meggie might have, vicariously, as she scoured the field edges, keeping track of every metallic gleam, meticulously examining it, considering, deciding. Gleams could be gold mushrooms. And Meggie collected gold mushrooms. The shiny surfaces of the rising coins fascinated her, fueled her with a sense of well-being and joy, and filled her days with delight.

She picked every one she could find, and wanted more.

Bertha’s nose was buried in vegetation, her attention just as focused on mushrooms as Meggie’s. But Bertha coveted blue ones. The manna that leaked from those tickled her tongue, coated her throat with sharp sweetness, and made her tingle all over. Big ones fed her a wondrous sense of satisfaction so strong she would occasionally need to sit down and take a deep breath before searching out the next one. Three or four big ones in a short period of time, and she tended to wobble when she walked.

She picked every one she could find, and wanted more.

Seamus Stupendous, sorcerer extraordinaire by his own admission, also failed to notice sun and spider clouds. This was not a good day for weather. Just as fixated on mushrooms as the magpie and badger, he crept along the winding path from his domicile to his farming plots, eyes glued firmly to the ground. Mushrooms fed his laboratory experiments. They fed his experience level. They fed his ability to obtain rare seed. And they fed his money bag. As Village Elder, Seamus had a large money bag to fill, responsibilities to take care of, and the financial wellbeing of the town to maintain. Questies accosted him, offering payment for plants, and it was up to Seamus to show a profit on each deal. Harvest Races could require instant and last minute purchases to ensure Redmarket maintained a respectable position. Big Orders could – and frequently did – drain a great deal of gold from his coffers as he struggled to manage himself an appropriately bulging prosperity.

He picked every one he could find, and wanted more.

“Noooooo!” Villagers all over the valley heard Seamus quite clearly. “Noooooo! Not already!”
There were no mushrooms on the field path. There were none at the plot edges. There were no splats of color in the grass, and none between rocks and rose bushes. The mushrooms were gone.

Again, the valley was privy to the thoughts of Stupendous. “I’m gonna kill that badger!”